Evaluating Kyle Gibson’s Chances of Making the Minnesota Twins’ 2014 Rotation
Wednesday afternoon, Kyle Gibson continued to impress in his second Spring Training start as the Minnesota Twins took on the St. Louis Cardinals. Through 4.1 innings, Gibson limited St. Louis to one run on a fourth inning solo shot off the bat of Matt Adams. This, the only flaw of his outing, was the first long-ball Gibson’s surrendered so far this spring. In the Twins’ eventual 3-1 loss, Gibson walked none, struck out four and induced seven ground-ball outs, opposed to zero fly-ball outs.
Less than two weeks from Opening Day, the Twins’ fifth spot in the starting rotation is still very much up for grabs. Scott Diamond and Vance Worley are both out of minor league options but seem to be working very hard in playing their way off Minnesota’s roster.
Diamond was 6-13 with a 5.43 ERA last season and has disappointed even further so far this spring. Through 9.2 preseason innings, Diamond carries a 5.59 ERA, 2.07 WHIP and 6.5 BB/9.
Worley, coming off an even worse 2013, is also currently having a much worse Spring Training. In 10.2 innings, Worley has a 13.50 ERA and is allowing a .415 batting average to opponents.
Samuel Deduno has been extremely solid this spring but had a slight hiccup in Wednesday’s outing, allowing two game-clinching runs in the eighth inning. Deduno has also worked only in relief so far this preseason and hasn’t had the opportunity to start a contest, which could suggest that Twins management has secondary plans for him.
Overall, Gibson has produced a 2.70 ERA in 13.1 innings this spring. As the majority his competition for the starting spot continues to disappoint, the 26-year-old power arm is beginning to receive heavy consideration for the job himself. If Gibson continues to locate his fastball throughout the remainder of March, don’t be too surprised if he’s found toeing the rubber for Minnesota against the Cleveland Indians on Apr. 5 in the team’s fifth regular season outing.